Columbia College Chicago

Meet the Faculty

Christine Knodle-Albarran

Suzuki Violin

Undergraduate: B.A. Business Management, Rockford College, B.M. Instrumental Performance, Columbia College.

Postgraduate: M.A.T. Elementary Education, Columbia College. 

Hometown: Rockford, IL. 

Preferred student age: 3-18. 

Preferred student level: Beginner-Intermediate. 

How long have you been at Sherwood? Since August 2010. 

About Christine: Christine began study of violin at the age of 3 at the Suzuki Music Academy in Rockford, IL with Eleanor Stanlis, the founder and director of the academy. She is a registered Suzuki Violin teacher and has completed training with Edward Kreitman, Joanne Melvin, Nancy Jackson, and Ed Sprunger. She is also a licensed Kindermusik instructor.

What do you want to impart to your students through your teaching? As Suzuki said, “beautiful tone, beautiful heart.” I desire my students to become fine musicians with discipline, awareness and sensitivity to their violin. But more importantly, my goal is to help them develop into noble human beings with beautiful spirits and hearts.

Are there specific methods or techniques that you use in your teaching that may be important to share with prospective students? I truly believe in the Suzuki method. Being a Suzuki student myself, it’s something that stays with you for a lifetime. When I did my Suzuki teacher training as an adult, tears were brought to my eyes from the sound of children playing Twinkle. It’s dear to me and has made me who I am today.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love experiencing the sense of wonder and awe with each child as they start to believe in themselves as a violinist.

Briefly describe your musical pursuits outside Sherwood. You can find me regularly performing around the city with Magnolia Strings Chicago, a violin duo. We love playing at Julius Meinl, as well as collaborating with different artists in the city. In addition to live performances, I enjoy writing and recording my original music found at

What is your earliest musical experience or best musical memory? I remember playing at a local retirement home when I was around 5 years old. One older gentlemen threw in some change and told me to “keep it up.” I guess I took his advice.

Please describe one of your favorite teachers or mentors. I have had so many wonderful teachers that have guided me along the way. I specifically remember my musicianship/sight-singing professor, Mimi Rohlfing at Columbia College. She was so passionate about music and life, in general. She was an incredibly strong who encouraged me to keep going, even when I got discouraged.

Who is your favorite composer or what is your favorite musical period? I have always been fascinated by Bartok. His Romanian Folk Dances are so much fun to play. Also on my top list is Duke Ellington.